Never Be The Same

Last night I sat in the living room of my apartment with my husband and one of our friends. We were just talking about the Bible, specifically Isaiah 53. As we were talking, I started weaving connections from both the Old and New Testament to help explain everything that is happening in this chapter. Our friend looked at me amazed. He has realized that he doesn’t really know the Bible and he asked me how I knew all this stuff. It’s always an easy answer, it’s because I learned how to study the Bible. He asked me, Ashlee why hasn’t anyone ever told me this stuff? Why hasn’t anyone taught me how to study before? In that moment, I felt like a failure to my friend. But I also realized that God has given me and my husband a profound opportunity to teach our friend what we have learned.

Anytime I am asked what or who has shaped my life the most my answer is always that studying the Bible has shaped me most in my life. I account everything I am to how the Word has transformed my life. The last few months I have watched the Word of God radically transform the life of my husband. I’ve watched his priorities change. I’ve watched the way he sees and treats the Word of God change. It’s been incredible. Because of the Word, we will never be the same again.

The Lord continues to put people in our lives like our friend last night who doesn’t know how to study the Word, but wants to. It’s a trend I see across student ministry as a whole. We aren’t teaching students how to study and we are doing them a dis-service. In the midst of trying to reach students, we are sending them out to be tossed about by every wind and wave of doctrine. In reality, we are hurting them instead of helping them.

If we love students, if we love our family, if we love our friends, then we must teach them how to study the Bible for themselves. It is not an option.

So why aren’t we doing it?

1. More than anything, I think we are lazy. Teaching someone to study the Word takes a lot of time. It takes time for us to study and time spent with that person teaching them.

2. We have allowed a self-centered society to creep into the church. When it’s all about me, I don’t think about being intentional in someone else’s life. Even for someone serving in ministry, it’s easy to make it all about me and forget why we are even there.

3. We under value students. We forget what they are capable of and we lean toward babying them. But we have so many students still living on milk, they don’t know what to do with meat.

4. We under value the Word of God. Now we would never come out and say it like this, but we have forgotten the power that is held within the Word of God. We think our words, stories and catchy phrases are more important that the living and active Word of God.

So what do I do now?

1. Step up. Walk away from our lazy society and be a believer, church leader, minister of the Gospel that God has called you to be. Make the Word of God a daily priority in your life. It must begin with you.

2. Take the focus off yourself and place it on who is worthy of attention: the Father

3. Realize that students can handle the Word of God and they need to. It’s crucial to their growth as a believer to learn to not only handle it, but handle it accurately.

4. Remember the power of the Word of God. Give it importance over any story or catchy wording you created. The Word holds much more power than your words. I know it’s painful for us all to admit because we want our words to hold value. I know I do!

If you don’t know how to study the Word of God, don’t worry. You are NOT alone. In fact you are in the perfect place to learn. I encourage you to check out what Precept Ministries International is doing when it comes to teaching people to study the Bible for themselves and leading others to study the Bible. I promise you, you will never be the same: your family, your student ministry, and your church will never be the same!

 Ashlee is a native New Mexican living as a missionary in Texas. She is a small group leader in the youth group of her church and has been involved with Transform Student Ministries for 13 years. She knows she brings nothing to the table with her relationship with God and any ministry He allows her to be a part of.  She is a hostile enveloped in the grace of God.

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